Thursday, April 20, 2017

Mad About Tulips


“Mad About Tulips”          Oil        10” x 8”          $100   © Sharon Lewis
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Eventually I’ll stop painting tulips….at least for a while. The problem is they come in so many beautiful colors! Every time I think I’m ready to stop painting them for this season, I see another bouquet of tulips, different from the bunch I bought last week. And as a tonic for long, long hours of work this time of year, they’re hard to beat!
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Happy Spring/Passover/Easter!


“Small Wonders II”        Pastel           8” x 10”           SOLD          © Sharon Lewis

            There’s something so exciting about the promise of new life…whether it’s in the form of a friend expecting her next child or the various nests I’ve noticed being built around my house. It reminds me not to lose sight of the positive, beautiful things all around me.
            Wishing you a Happy Spring/Passover/Easter!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Seeking the Light


“Seeking the Light”        Oil            10” x 10”          $125         © Sharon Lewis
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I think that tulips should be symbols of persistence and optimism. They start as bulbs in the dark and cold ground, and in the midst of this darkness, they twist and turn up through the soil, persistently and optimistically seeking light. Maybe a lesson for us all to stay optimistic, seek the light, and add something beautiful to the world?
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dressed to Kill


“Dressed to Kill”         Oil          10” x 10”          $125         © Sharon Lewis
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            This was a fun subject to paint and really got me thinking about both the fun and the pain associated with women’s fashion. I love the different colors and textures you find in women’s clothes and shoes and how we don’t have to wear essentially the same thing every day. I love novelty! However, I was wondering how we ever developed a trend that encouraged women to hobble in pain in incredibly high-heeled shoes just to be fashionable.
            A brief review online of the origins of high heels reminded me that they were previously worn by both men and women and were often associated with status. What I didn’t know was that they were also used by men in Persia (now Iran) to secure their feet to their stirrups so that they could ride and shoot arrows from their horses. Then apparently, the heels caught on with aristocrats such as King Louis XIV. He used them to increase his short stature (5’4”), and restricted the wearing of red heels (his favorite) only to those in his court. Over time, men’s shoes became more practical and women’s shoes went in the opposite direction. Maybe it’s time to give them back to men?
            Have a happy and comfortable weekend!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Beauty in Diversity

“Beauty in Diversity”         Pastel           10” x 10”             $125     © Sharon Lewis
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One of the many reasons I love tulips is their diversity. They change shape as the flower ages (kind of like us) and they come in a variety of beautiful and different colors (also like us). In addition, they remind us of the joys of spring bringing new life, new beginnings, and gorgeous, cheerful colors like these.
The graceful arrangement of these tulips is entirely due to the artistic skill of the very talented artist, Karen Appleton. She challenged us recently in our oils class, to paint these particular flowers using palette knives instead of brushes. The painting here was done with pastels but I will share the oil painting of these flowers with you sometime soon. All I will say now is that for me, it was really, really challenging to paint with palette knives but also a lot of fun. 
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

By the Stream


“By the Stream”      Pastel        11” x 14”        $150     ©Sharon Lewis
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            I’ve borrowed the title for this painting from the poem, “By the Stream” by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, one of the first African-American poets to gain national recognition. The first few lines are: “By the stream I dream in calm delight, and watch as in a glass, How the clouds like crowds of snowy-hued and white-robed maidens pass, And the water into ripples breaks and sparkles as it spreads…” (Click here for the rest of the poem.). This seems to be such a wonderful way of describing this beautiful scene I saw one summer though maybe the clouds are more “golden-hued” and “lavender” robed maidens.
            Hoping a little beauty comes your way.  Happy Weekend!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Beach Study


Beach Study #3          Oil              5” x 7”            $50  © Sharon Lewis

            I was lucky enough to visit the beach last weekend and took advantage of the opportunity to paint the ocean and sky from life. It was a windy day when I tried to paint an impression of sweeping clouds and choppy waves. Waves of course are hard to paint exactly from life but I find if I keep studying them, I can notice enough to convey at least an impression of them.
            Happy Weekend!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Left Out

“Left Out”                  Oil                10” x 10”                   $125         © Sharon Lewis 
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I’ve been continuing to have fun painting with oils and have a wonderful teacher: the very talented artist, Karen Appleton. I’ve been attracted to oils for some time though still love working with the pastel medium. I signed up for a beginning oils class with Karen and we have had so much fun! It was a bit frustrating at the beginning because I’m used to working with sticks of pigment rather than brushes and just selecting the color I want from my hundreds of pastels rather than mixing colors. Progress has been slow but I love it! I’m not only lucky to have found a gifted, generous teacher but also a group of people who love art, can laugh a lot, and are supportive of one another.
            Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I Remember Color


“I Remember Color”           Oil             5” x 7”             $60           © Sharon Lewis
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            From my studio window, I look upon a sky full of skeletal gray and brown tree limbs. Although there are signs of spring unfolding other places in my neighborhood, from where I work there are none of the blues, oranges, and warm greens that I love so much. So, what does an artist do? We create what we miss! I’ve been playing around with oils lately and so decided to create a colorful painting of Arabia Mountain Park, a favorite park of mine, just east of Atlanta.
            Hope there’s color in your weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Cove at Yaquina

“Cove at Yaquina”     Pastel        9” x 12”        $100     ©Sharon Lewis
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            It was a beautiful day with the sun shining on the lighthouse and rocks. The Yaquina Head Lighthouse area, on the Oregon coast is a particularly interesting place to visit because not only can you enjoy spectacular scenery but you can also enjoy interesting wildlife in the form of seals and a variety of seabirds. I love painting coastal areas like this because there are so many different colors and textures in the rocks, grasses, and ocean.
            Hoping you enjoy beautiful days this weekend!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Let’s Pretend It’s Spring

“Let’s Pretend It’s Spring”      Pastel        14” x 11”        $150     ©Sharon Lewis
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            I know it’s not spring yet but I saw some beautiful tulips at the grocery store and had to bring them home. Tulips are, in my opinion, perfect antidotes to a gloomy winter day which is exactly what it was when I painted these recently. They are one of my favorite flowers because not only do they come in a variety of colors, but the blooms open with the petals seeming to joyously embrace the light and air. As if that wasn’t enough, if you look closely, even the apparently single color tulips have a variety of different colors on their petals, and as they bloom they often reveal additional surprise colors on the inside. You couldn’t ask for a more delightful flower for an artist that loves colors!
            Hoping your weekend is colorful!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Rochers-de-Naye


“Rochers-de-Naye”              Pastel               8” x 8”        $70           ©Sharon Lewis  
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Several summers ago, we took a leisurely train trip up to Rochers-de-Naye, Switzerland.  This painting is of a view I photographed as we traveled to this absolutely gorgeous place. At the peak, which is 2000 metres (6,562 ft.) high, we looked at the various marmot species they have up there (a kind of small marmot zoo) and hiked in the cool, sunny weather. Although there were other people up there, it was a quiet, peaceful place.
Happy Weekend!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Leaning Towards the Light


“Leaning Towards the Light”        Pastel        9” x 12”        $100     ©Sharon Lewis
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            It’s a beautiful, sunny day in Atlanta and I found myself rejecting the painting I had just finished in favor of this much sunnier one. It’s that time of year when I’m noticing that the days are getting gradually longer but it feels like such an excruciatingly slow process that I get impatient. Fortunately, I can choose to paint the longer, sunnier days of spring and remember walking a sandy shore with the sun on my face, beautiful clouds overhead, and the wonderfully rhythmic sounds of the waves in my ears. Ahhhh.
            Happy Weekend!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Stormy Weather


“Stormy Weather”      Pastel       5” x 7”        $50     © Sharon Lewis
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            The sky has looked like this often this week and given the political atmosphere today, it seems an appropriate painting.
            Today, in searching for wisdom to help me navigate these stormy times, I remembered an essay by John Lewis in which he describes a terrible storm he experienced as a child. He and his young cousins were frightened because the small house where they were, was beginning to lift off its foundation. His Aunt Seneva told the children to gather hands, move toward the corner that was rising, and together they held the house down. He recalls the many storms of the civil rights movement when people of conscience stayed, joined hands and moved to the corner of the house that was the weakest. He says in what seem prophetic words today, “But we knew another storm would come, and we would have to do it all over again. And we did. And we still do, all of us. You and I. Children holding hands, walking with the wind. That is America to me----not just the movement for civil rights but the endless struggle to respond with decency, dignity, and a sense of brotherhood to all the challenges that face us as a nation, as a whole.” *
 *From: “Walking with the Wind” In “The Impossible Will Take A Little While

Friday, January 13, 2017

Memories of Color


“Memories of Color”     Pastel        9” x 12”        $100    © Sharon Lewis
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It’s been a hectic week with classes starting up again. I’ve enjoyed meeting the newcomers to my classes and welcoming back my returning students. I have such optimism about our nation’s future when I think about these young, idealistic adults.
This painting represents my desire to focus on color when all I can see out of my studio window are lots of brown and greys. So, as I choose to focus on the bright future represented by my wonderful students, I also choose to focus on the warm colors of a beautiful fall day in the park.
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lyrical Limbs


“Lyrical Limbs”      Oil       3” x 2” on Canvas    $100       © Sharon Lewis
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            I’ve been experimenting with painting with oils, a medium I’ve always been fascinated by even if my first love is the medium of pastels. I have been playing with water-mixable oils because I can avoid the odor and potential health hazards of using the medium in its more typical form. For some reason I had several small canvasses and so I have been creating a small oil painting after work for each of the last three nights. I have been wanting to paint this tree for some time. It seems indomitable, standing as it does on a coastal ridge but also has a lyrical or beautiful, expressive quality to it. On to more small oils…..
            Happy Almost Weekend!